Skirting the Issue

We’re back in Atlanta and the first stop we made was to pick up the new slip covers for my dining room chairs.  Yee haw!!!!!!  I’m pretty much in love…

April 2013 135 copy

We bought the dining set as a, well, SET for our first anniversary.  It’s the only “set” of anything that we own and, while I do adore it, our dining room in this house is much smaller and more walled off and made things seem very leggy.  And dark.  And expected.  So, after raking my brain on how to make me LOVE the room (I’ve considered everything from a to-the-floor table cloth to new chairs), this picture on Cote de Texas was a true a-ha moment for me.  I could cover the legs, brighten things up, aaaaaand keep the pretty carved backs showing with to the floor gathered slip covers.  Oh, and I can also wash them when the littles inevitably spill their supper on the nice linen skirts. 


After a failed attempt to make my own, I brought in a professional.  I had hoped to use the blue fabric currently on the chair seats, but alas it has been discontinued.  Since I had linen fabric left over from recovering the living room chairs and those are just on the other side of the doorway, I used it instead.  What luck that I had just enough on hand!

It’s extremely overcast and I didn’t feel like getting out the tripod so excuse the dark pictures.  Oh, and the slips could stand to have an iron run over them.  But all that can wait … here’s the before:


And here’s the after…

April 2013 140 copy 
So, my question for y’all is….  should I also skirt the two arm chairs?  In a short ruffled skirt?  Or to the floor to match the side chairs?  I was thinking I could get away without doing it but now that I have the first six done I kind of think the two end chairs need something.

I also think I need to simplify what’s currently atop the table, based on the inspiration photo.  I keep toying with removing the leaf from the table but then it would seat only six and be the same size as the kitchen table.  And I’d have to add it back in every time we had company.  So that’s probably not the most practical idea.  Honey says I subscribe to the “form over function” train of thought, which is probably pretty spot on in most cases :-). 

I’ll be back to show updated pics of the new exterior paint job once the rain washes the pollen off.  I liked to have a stroke when I drove up and saw the light green shutters laying in the yard.  I had no idea the pollen had been coming down in sheets while we were away.  How very miserable!


Flattered for the feature at Le Chateau des Fleurs!

59 thoughts on “Skirting the Issue

  1. The chairs looks amazing. It really transformed the entire room. So bright. Glad you went with the linen and not the blue. I would skirt the end chairs the same way. And yes, this pollen is awful. We need to have our exterior done, but will now have to wait til this stuff clears!

  2. Your slipcovers look gorgeous. I would skirt to the floor for a fluid look. But that is just me. Can't wait to see the exterior. I love all your projects and you have inspired me for my home.

  3. I like the end chairs left "as is". I like chairs that aren't too matchy-matchy. _Lauryn G.

  4. I love the new slipcovers! They really dress up the room even more. We take the leaf out of our dining room table when we are not using it for larger groups because it makes the room seem bigger that way. My husband can't understand why we have to keep removing it and putting it back in all the time!
    I don't know what I would suggest for the end chairs..they look pretty being a little different but I know what you mean about possibly needing something. Maybe get used to the new look for a few days before deciding.

  5. I would leave the end chairs as they are Amanda….I think it looks good as it is. Understand the leaf issue as well. It is a pain to put it in and take it out. Looking forward to seeing your new paintjob. And yes…everything is a yellowish green here in Alabama as well.

  6. Just had a thought about the end dining chairs…maybe a little pillow for the back of each one. As you say form over…you can discreetly remove them when you have company.

  7. I love the skirts! What about layering another runner under the current one – a print, perhaps? Or adding a small pillow to each of the arm chairs in a print?

  8. On second thought, now that I look at the chairs again, I think I would leave the end chairs as is. They have arms on them so it sets them apart a little. The whole room looks gorgeous! That's just my 2 cents!…

  9. I would do a short skirt on the ends. I like the idea of a little lumbar in them as well…in a print. Now, send me that river pic full-size with no watermark!!!


  10. I love the linen. I would do all the chairs with the longer skirts. The arms still set then end chairs apart and I lobe the look.

  11. Love the chairs, not sure what I would do with the end chairs tho….but I would definitely simplify the table top.

  12. LOVE your new slip covers! I think you go either way on the end chairs. I think I would get some made and then if you want to change things up you can use um or not use um. Thanx for sharingg at THT!

  13. What a great idea! I love this look. I would not skirt the end chairs. I think that would be too much, too unified. Perfect just the way it is with the new skirts.

  14. Love your slips!! Love the color blue in that room also:-) I just made ruffled lace slips for my chairs but I did leave the end chairs without slips. Mine are pretty frilly, and I knew the men in my house would not like frilly. What a pretty table and chairs too!

  15. I LOVE them! I would leave the chairs on the ends. But I didn't even notice they weren't the same. Obviously, I am not a design guru. Ha! Beautiful either way!

  16. love where this room is heading! i think the chairs should be same in order to keep the flow and gracefulness, so yes , i would slip to floor.but it would be fun to have them stand out in some way of course. what about monogramming just the host and hostess? or pipe in an accent color? or use a new fabric and pipe in the linen? i also think that now that you have more fabric in the room overall, you can forego the runner. wow! brainstorming is so fun!

  17. I love the linen slipcovers. I would leave the end chairs as is. Skirting them would be too much fabric too close together. Maybe recover the seats of the armchairs in a pattern or monogram the blue that is there. I do like the idea of the pillows but I think I would prefer something more
    permanent.Definitely simplify the table decor. Can't wait to see the exterior!

  18. As I was reading, I too was thinking of monogramming for the end chairs…just a possibility.

    You have a large table and many chairs so l would take out the leaf so those pretty skirts would really show off with two fewer chairs.

  19. Love them!! I like the symmetry of 6 chairs at the table, so I would long skirt the two arm chairs and place them on each side of the window and stick the hi-chair for Bird in a closet. Gorgeous !

  20. Ok. Now I totally want to do this in my dining room. I've been thinking of sprucing it up anyway, and this seems like the very best solution!!! Thank you for this post!!

    And I'll vote for leaving the arm chairs as is. My second choice is to skirt them like the others, but I don't love the idea of doing a shorter skirt on them.

  21. I would maybe have 2 pillows on the end chairs. Could look like a lot if fabric, or maybe box pleat end chair

  22. I know that I am the odd-man-out but I would leave the head chairs as is for the time being. If you really feel they need a skirt then I would do as Kim suggests and use a different fabric. I like the idea of head chairs being different since that makes them special and sitting at the head is "special".

  23. Honestly, I like it with the end chairs just as they are. They have the arms on them and I think it's nice to have them a little different. You have the same fabric on all the seats to tie them all together. Your taste is, as always, simply impeccable!!!

  24. i would leave the leaf in for sure if you use the larger size table often. i like the idea of pulling two chairs out so the remaining four have more room to breathe and show off their drape, lines and carvings.can the two extra side chairs sit under the windows and be pulled up when needed? i too lean towards form over function, but i think with accessories it looks best with some function ( so as not to look forced), so for me that would not include pillows on dining room chairs.cant wait to see what you decide with all the great ideas your followers have.

  25. I would leave the end chairs..or maybe put a small lumbar pillow in each. I would remove some of the table decor.

  26. I like that they're a bit different from the other chairs. Perhaps you could have your custom monogram embroidered in your blue on the seats of those 2 end chairs. Good idea to do the slip covers.

  27. Love them! The inspiration picture is great, too. If you do decide to get slips for the two end chairs you could always go with a pattern that incorporates the color of the side chair fabric. Just to keep them a little different.

  28. Donna – I use Chang at Crown Upholstery in Marietta. He is wonderful, affordable (as far as upholstery goes), fast and worth the drive from whatever part of Atlanta you are in :-)

  29. Love those skirts. What a great idea! I may have to find someone around here to make some. I don't like my chairs very much but this would definitely help.
    The end chairs look fine but would look awesome in matching skirts.

  30. Taking my breath away, Amanda! I just love your slipcovers, they make the room so grand!

  31. I vote for leaving the end chairs as is. The skirted side chairs are perfect as is. I agree with the suggestion to add a small lumbar pillow to the end chairs. I think that would set them apart.

    Can't wait to see the outdoor paint job and what you've done to the living room.

  32. I would definately skirt the 2 arm chairs the same.I would also recommend throwing a pillow in each one(perhaps a nice needlepoint).Then maybe move the 2 armchairs against the wall,and remove a leaf for a more casual look.Love everything you are doing!!

  33. I would leave the two arm chairs unskirted but I love the idea of a small lumbar pillow in a coordinating fabric. I was also thinking something on the back of the chair would be pretty. Nothing that would obscure the woodwork but give it a tailored look. I'm thinking ribbon/wreath/treatment would be pretty. But always err on the side of being simple and sophisticated.

  34. Love the slips! I researched slipcovering my very similar dining room chairs on Cote de Texas, too. Joni has the best advice on slipcovers and curtains. Would you mind sharing info. on the fabric, or where to find the details on your blog? Thanks!

  35. Love them, softens up the room a lot! I'd leave the arm chairs unskirted-it breaks up all the fabric and is a little unexpected.

  36. Looks lovely. I would leave the leaf in since you have family over frequently and use the room constantly. To give the illusion of more space, I would pull out 2 chairs and have them flank the window. As for the head chairs, I would not skirt them….it would give the set a matchy-matchy look IMO. Also, the legs of the head chairs provide a graceful contrast for the skirts….if they are all skirted it would be too much fabric. You've got a great eye so just go with what u think is best:)


  37. I would leave armchairs unskirted, they compliment the sidechairs well. I would use a coordinating linen print fabric on end chairs, like a buffalo check, stripe, or the blue coral from your drapes! Another option is to use a longer runner with ruffles that cascade over ends. Either option (or both together) would add a little life to the ends which might be what makes it for come together for you. Then you can consider if you want to pair down the table top items a little. Looking gorgeous so far! Maria

  38. I would say to do whatever your instinct tell you because you are always SPOT ON. OMGoodness do I wish that you could consult me on decor ideas. You are so gifted.

  39. Just stopped by from Inspire Me Tues. and so glad I did You have a beautiful blog. I am your newest follower. Your new slip covers are gorgeous! Blessings! Wanda

  40. These look great! I've been wanting to try this myself…when I have the time. I agree with Kathy about doing the end chairs in a complimentary farbric. I would do a geometric pattern in muted tones. Visiting from LeChateau des Fleurs.

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